25 October 2014

Palawan Tops The List of Fave Islands

Everyone knows that Philippines has about 7,107 islands and most of them could boast of a good diving spot or beach resort. However, among those islands, Palawan cemented its place as the top tourist destination after it was named the world’s top island by readers of CN Traveler magazine with a rating of 88.750.

The island is now home to one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. Palawan's natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Guided boat tours take visitors down a portion of the waterway, where karsts, natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone, loom in every direction. Gett

About an hour’s flight from Manila, Palawan’s virtue lies in the fact that it remains largely uncolonized by international hotel chains and developments - and consequently heaving throngs of fellow tourists. Along with the subterranean river, one of the astounding natural features of the island are its lagoons, beaches, and dramatic limestone cliffs.

Not surprisingly, dominating the list of top islands in the world is Hawaii, which landed three spots in the top 10 ranking for Maui, Kauai and Big Island.

Interestingly, the second highest-ranked island doesn’t hail from French Polynesia or the Caribbean, but...South Carolina. A short drive away from Charleston, Kiawah Island is described as a small barrier island on the Atlantic coast that can feel like it’s “a world away.”

Boracay island, also in the Philippines, made it to the top 12 after getting a reader's rating of 82.683. This small island (10 square miles) in the Western part of the country is as close to the tropical idyll ideal as anybody will find in the Philippines, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have Boracay as one of the top tourist spots in the region.


24 October 2014

Churches Defy Gay Influence by Staying Truthful

Hillsong Church
The influential and global Hillsong Church was able to fend off repeated attempts by the gay community to influence their policy and undermine what megachurch pastor Brian Houston has worked on for years.

As more states succumb to the pressures of the gay community and several judges took it upon themselves to overturn majority decisions to ban same-sex marriages, several Christian churches with orthodox beliefs continued to stay relevant by staying true to the biblical truth.

Houston said in a recent clarification published on Hillsong’s website that he and the church are not entertaining anything new to accommodate the whims of the gay community in the light of false reports circulating online.
"Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject."
Houston touched on the topic of same-sex marriage during a press conference in the middle of October.

"It’s very easy to reduce what you think about homosexuality to just a public statement, and that would keep a lot of people happy," Houston added, according to an RNS transcript.

It is now clear as day that Hillsong that they may welcome several gay men and women, but they will never condone the sinful gay lifestyle, including same-sex marriages.

Houston’s clarification also squashed any hopes that any shift is likely. For all Christian churches to stay relevant while continuing to attract millions of young people, means sticking with the original and truthful interpretation of the Bible. No amount of false advertisements and flowery descriptions of sinful acts will change that.

"This struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ," Houston said. "This – like many other issues, is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world."


23 October 2014

Amalilio Freed and Can Stay in Malaysia

Manuel Amalilio
Can anybody still remember the man behind the PhP 12 Billion scheme perpetuated the Aman Futures Group Philippine Inc? His name is Manuel Amalilio. He was captured in Malaysia, but now he is free, unless Philippine authorities managed to get him back to the country.

The Borneo Post reported that Amalilio, whose Malaysian name is Mohammad Kamal Said, was released by Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohammad "after a representation made by the family of Amalilio ... to the Minister of Home Affairs under Section 47 of the Extradition Act 1992 was granted."

Filipino authorities could have requested for a transfer of custody, but Malaysian prosecutors said there was an instruction from the Minister of Home Affairs "not to extradite [Amalilio] to the Philippines."

Amalilio, along with other Aman officers and Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, is facing criminal charges for syndicated estafa for the firm's alleged pyramiding scam. However, the Malaysian fled to Sabah in November 2012 after President Aquino ordered his arrest.

He was then arrested in Kota Kinabalu on January 2013 for carrying a fake passport and ID. The court later sentenced him to two years imprisonment for carrying a fake passport.

The Aman Futures head was supposed to be extradited to Manila in February 2013 but his deportation was blocked at the last minute.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who helped the 15,000 Filipino victims bring charges against Amalilio, said no less than Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman blocked the Aman Futures head's repatriation. Musa, however, denied the claim.

A Philippine Star report earlier said Amalilio is Musa’s nephew.

Malaysia’s opposition head Anwar Ibrahim confirmed: "Yes, his mother is Musa’s first cousin. Amalilio’s real name is Kamal bin Said, born in Beaufort, Sabah."

"The mother is Zubaidah Omar, cousin of Chief Minister Musa Aman,” Anwar detailed. “Haji Aman (Musa’s father) and Haji Omar (Zubaidah’s father) are brothers."


22 October 2014

Alleged Abuse Prompted Josie Tallado to Hide

Josie Tallado
Last 19 October 2014, authorities launched a massive search for Josefina “Josie” Tallado, wife of Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado and her female aide, Darlene Francisco.

The operation conducted by a combine force of military and police personnel was prompted after the black Toyota Fortuner that Mrs. Tallado and her aide last used was found abandoned in Lupi town. The vehicle, registered under the governor's name, still had its engine running, with headlights on, doors open and showed evidence of attempts to burn the vehicle.

Three days later, Ms. Tallado reappeared and said that she and her friend left because of threats to harm her.

Accompanied by lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Ms. Tallado told ANC's Headstart program she felt she was not safe at their home anymore. The threats, Mrs Tallado said, was because the governor had accused her of uploading a photo of his alleged mistress on Facebook.

"Umalis ako ng bahay namin dahil alam kong hindi na ako safe sa aming tahanan," she said. (I left our home because I don't feel safe there anymore.)

She claims the governor had verbally threatened her because of the photo upload, and that she felt there have been unknown people trying to enter their home in the past weeks. It is not clear if she has evidence to support this claims.

She also said their 27-year-old son knows about the marital problem.


Extra Precaution on Cruise Ship Pools

Cruise Ship Swimming Pool
If you and your family are planning to go on one of those holiday trips aboard a luxury cruise ships, then you better know one important thing about their swimming pools. Not all pools are being watched by lifeguards and if you decide to swim on one of those pools, then you do so at your own risk.

This as the lesson learned the hard way by a family who just lost a young boy and another one who almost lost their loved one after they drowned on one of those swimming pools.

A 4-year-old boy died and a 6-year-old boy was revived and taken to a North Carolina hospital after both were pulled from a pool off the American coast on 4 February 2014, according to officials who offered few additional details.

Norwegian said on its Facebook page that the ship's emergency medical team responded to a report that the children were unresponsive on its pool deck and quickly administered CPR.

"After extensive efforts, the younger child could not be revived," the Facebook post said. "We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support."

It was unclear whether the boys were related. The survivor was flown to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern with his grandmother and a nurse from the ship. The boy was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Hospital spokeswoman Chris Mackey said Tuesday that the boy's parents did not want the boy's condition shared with the public.

Norwegian Breakaway, an 18-deck ship with a capacity of 4,000 passengers, is one of the cruise line's newest ships and has a New York City theme with a colorful mural on the exterior hull designed by pop artist Peter Max featuring images of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. The vessel's year-round home port is Manhattan.

It has several pool areas, including an aqua park with a play area for young children. There's also a supervised program for children ages 3 to 17 called Splash Academy.

Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews declined to specify at which pool the children were found. She also declined to say whether the children signed into care at Splash Academy or were supervised by their family.

Except for Disney Cruise Line, pools aboard cruise ships usually are not watched by lifeguards and swimming is at the patron's own risk, though Norwegian ships have specific pools for children, said Andrew Coggins, a management professor at Pace University in New York City who studies the cruise industry.

"In any event, children are not supposed to be in the pool unattended," Coggins wrote in an email.

The death must be reported to the Coast Guard and the state where the vessel is registered, said Carol Finklehoffe, a Miami personal injury lawyer who represents cruise ship passengers and crew members. The family's legal rights are based in a provision of maritime law that limits damages resulting from an accidental death on the high seas primarily to the money the victim could earn, Finklehoffe said. For a 4-year-old, that's virtually nil, she said.If the 6-year-old survives, that child can seek compensation for pain and suffering, she said.

The ship is based in New York and was headed to Florida on an itinerary that then had it headed to the Bahamas, according to Norwegian's website. The ship was docked in Port Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday morning, port spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey confirmed.

When the ship launched in the spring of 2013, it was praised by industry experts such as Cruise Week editor Mike Driscoll, who called it "the best ship in the company's 47-year history."

Last October, a 6-year-old boy drowned in one of the pools aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship while at sea. The child was at the mid-ship pool area of the Carnival Victory with other family members on the last leg of a four-day Caribbean cruise, the company said at the time.

The Miami-Dade Police Department investigated the drowning and identified the boy as Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Fla. The drowning appeared to be accidental and foul play was not suspected, police said.

"There have been multiple drownings on cruise ships in the recent past," said Finklehoff, who believes cruise ships should assign lifeguards to their pools. "They know that the pool deck is a very distracting area. They're selling drinks, there's activities going on, and people can be distracted. That includes parents watching children."